Henry Frye, Jr., was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in 1972, at the age of 13
With the efforts of a strong cadre of volunteers, led by Gala Chairs Mary Gay and Don Brady and Anne and Sam Hummel, the event is expected to attract nearly 1,000 guests and raise over $1 million for T1D research
Greensboro, North Carolina, February 11, 2020 – The Piedmont Triad Chapter of JDRF will honor community leaders Shirley and Henry Frye, and Angela and Henry Frye, Jr., at its 20th annual Hope Gala at the Koury Convention Center in Greensboro on Saturday, February 22.
The Hope Gala alternates between Greensboro and Winston-Salem. The largest annual charity event of its kind in the Triad, the Hope Gala has raised at least $1 million to fund type 1 diabetes (T1D) research in eight of the last nine years, and has raised approximately $17.3 million in its first 19 years.
In the summer of 1972, Shirley and Henry Frye, along with their sons, 13-year-old Henry, Jr. and 11-year-old Harlan, attended the Democratic National Convention in Miami. On the flight home, Shirley noticed that Henry, Jr. was very lethargic—absolutely not himself. Upon landing, Shirley and Henry, Jr. went directly to see the doctor, who asked if anyone in their family had diabetes and sent them immediately to the hospital, where Henry, Jr. was diagnosed with T1D. Over his 10-day hospital stay, Henry, Jr. “set me straight,” Shirley said with a smile. Henry, Jr. assured his mom that, “we can do this. We just have to change the way we eat, and I have to always take my insulin.” And that’s exactly what the Frye family did—they lived their lives, keeping their diabetes journey very private, something that wasn’t easy for one of Greensboro’s—and North Carolina’s—most visible families.
But, 46 years after Henry, Jr.’s T1D diagnosis, complications from diabetes suddenly made it harder to keep his T1D private. Kidney disease is a very common complication for people who have lived with T1D for many years, and Henry, Jr.’s kidneys were failing. In January 2017, he started dialysis, and was put on the kidney transplant list. Eighteen months later, the miracle happened: Angela was found to be a match, and on August 21, 2018, she donated one of her kidneys to her husband.
As Jordan Frye Hairston, one of Angela and Henry, Jr.’s three daughters, said, “My parents are a match made in heaven. My mom is my hero.” Jordan and her sisters, Whitney and Endya Frye, are serving as Fund A Cure Chairs for the Gala, encouraging individual donations that will honor their parents and grandparents and go directly to fund T1D research.
The entire Frye family has thrown themselves into building awareness for the work JDRF is doing to create a world without T1D. “JDRF was founded 50 years ago, so the fact that Henry, Jr. was diagnosed 48 years ago means that his ongoing journey to manage his diabetes mirrors JDRF’s journey toward curing T1D,” said Eleanor Schaffner-Mosh, Executive Director of JDRF’s Piedmont Triad Chapter. “By sharing their story publicly for the first time, Henry, Jr. and his entire family are making a tremendous difference in the lives of everyone living with this disease.”
An all-star volunteer Gala leadership team is supporting the Fryes and JDRF:
- Gala Chairs: Mary Gay and Don Brady; Anne and Sam Hummel
- Community/Corporate Chair: Chancellor Harold L. Martin, Sr.
- Fund A Cure Chairs: Whitney Frye, Esq., Jordan Frye Hairston, and Endya Frye, M.D.
- Event Experience Chairs: Wendy Calloway; Alejandra and Cliff Thompson
- Auction Chair: Debra Cowan; Auction Co-Chair: Houston Satterfield
To sponsor, attend, or donate to the 2020 Hope Gala, please contact the JDRF office at (336) 373-1768 or visit tinyurl.com/HopeGala2020.
2020 Hope Gala Sponsors: JDRF thanks our sponsors, many of whom have supported T1D research for years. Major 2020 Hope Gala sponsors committed to date include:
BB&T, now Truist
Wendy and Brett Hoge
The Fresh Market
Wake Forest Baptist Health, Smile Sponsor
Auction Checkout Sponsors
Bank of America
Bank of America Private Bank
Mary Gay and Don Brady
CPI, BidPal Sponsor
Vanessa and Roy Carroll
Nan Crawford and Paul Fulton
N.C. A&T State University
Sara Smith Self Foundation
I.L. CONSTRUCTION CO., INC.
Wendy and Brad Calloway
Anne and Sam Hummel
Capital Development Services
Five Points Capital
High Point University
Kilpatrick Townsend Stockton
Joseph M. Bryan Foundation
Mercedes Benz of Greensboro
Pediatric Specialists @ Wendover
Piedmont Natural Gas
Simpson Commercial Real Estate
Carolina Theatre of Greensboro
- Carroll Productions
Fabio Camara Studios
ON Event Services
Shores Fine Dry Cleaning
The Fresh Market
About Type 1 Diabetes: Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease that occurs when a person’s pancreas stops producing insulin, the hormone that controls blood-sugar levels. T1D develops when the insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells are mistakenly destroyed by the body’s immune system. The cause of this attack is still being researched; however, scientists believe the cause may have genetic and environmental components. T1D affects children and adults, and people can be diagnosed at any age. As of now, there is nothing anyone can do to prevent T1D, and there is no cure.
About JDRF: JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Our mission is to improve lives today and tomorrow by accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent, and treat T1D and its complications. To accomplish this, JDRF has invested more than $2 billion in research funding since our inception. We are an organization built on a grassroots model of people connecting in their local communities, collaborating regionally for efficiency and broader fundraising impact, and uniting on a national stage to pool resources, passion, and energy. We collaborate with academic institutions, policymakers, and corporate and industry partners to develop and deliver a pipeline of innovative therapies to people living with T1D. Our staff and volunteers throughout the United States and our six international affiliates are dedicated to advocacy, community engagement, and our vision of a world without T1D. Learn more at jdrf.org or @JDRF on Twitter.
About JDRF – Piedmont Triad Chapter: Covering 15 North Carolina counties, the Piedmont Triad Chapter provides support for those living with type 1 diabetes by convening educational and networking sessions such as the annual TypeOneNation Summit, and raises awareness and funds for T1D research through a variety of events, including our annual Hope Gala; One Walks in Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Alamance County, and High Point; the Ride to Cure Diabetes; and the Tennis to Tent to Tee event in Pinehurst. Learn more at jdrf.org/triad, facebook.com/jdrftriad, or @JDRFtriad on Twitter.